What Makes a Good Resume?
This article is part of WOSU's, public media in Columbus, Ohio, American Graduate: Getting To Work initiative.
By Marti Smith, Goodwill Columbus
Marti Smith is a Career Consultant with Goodwill Columbus. She’s also the organization’s in-house resume expert. We asked her for the top tips to writing a successful resume.
To learn more about Goodwill Columbus’s programs, listen to Rivet, Episode 5: The Certificate.
- Key information should be seen first
- Industry specific skills tend to carry more weight than soft skills, but both can be effective
- Explain three or more of your key attributes that relate directly to the job description in your Summary of Skills or Accomplishments
- Choose a format: chronological, functional, or combination
- Those with five years of experience rarely require more than one page for a resume
- Double check your punctuation, capitalization
- Proofread, proofread, proofread!
- Check for consistency in line spacing – perfect formatting show the reader you’re detail oriented
- Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to be creative in ways that you can to inject power and sizzle into your writing
- Don’t be redundant and repeat things in both you resume and cover letter
- Clearly communicate what you’re trying to say to the reader – the message is what is important!
4. ORGANIZATION AND PRESENTATION
- Again, be consistent with your formatting – inconsistency confuses the reader
- If you’re printing this resume, don’t skimp and use cheap paper – be sure your characters, lines and images contrast well with the paper
- Check to make sure your ideas flow in a logical order
- See if your word choice communicates your marketability
- While proofreading, make sure that your resume is:
- Inviting, attractive, appealing, and professional
- Making smart use of white space
- Consistently formatted
- Using language that matches the job description
- Grammatically sound
- Prioritizing top skills
- Presenting your key information in an accessible way
Rivet is a project developed with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and is part of the national initiative American Graduate: Getting to work. To listen to their podcast series dedicated to alternative career pathways, visit the Rivet website.